What You Need to Know About Personal Injury Law
Being involved in an injury or accident can be a confusing and stressful experience. Some victims of a personal injury live with their afflictions without ever getting justice against the guilty party. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury and want to get compensation from those responsible, it’s important to understand the basic concepts of personal injury law.
What is a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury case is a legal dispute arising when one person is injured after an accident, and someone else is to blame for the accident. Personal injury law allows compensation for an injured person after they have suffered harm as a result of another person’s intentional conduct or carelessness.
In What Situations Do Personal Injury Laws Apply?
Accidents: Personal injury rules can be used when a person acts negligently and their carelessness hurts another person. Some examples of accidents include slip and fall accidents, car accidents, and medical malpractice cases.
Defective Products: There are situations when a company is held responsible for injuries. A typical example is when a person is injured by a defective product.
Intentional Acts: Personal injury laws also apply where a person’s intentional acts harm another person. Examples of intentional acts include battery and assault.
Defamation: In cases where a person’s defamatory speech harms another person’s reputation, personal injury rules can be used to compensate the plaintiff.
How are Personal Injury Cases Resolved?
The two main ways for resolving personal injury cases are:
- Formal Lawsuit: In contrast to criminal cases which are championed by the government/prosecutor, a personal injury lawsuit begins with a private individual (plaintiff) filing a civil complaint against a government agency, corporation, business, or another person (the defendant). The plaintiff claims that the defendant acted irresponsibly or carelessly and caused an injury or accident. This complaint is called a formal lawsuit.
- Informal Settlement: Many disputes regarding fault for an injury or accident are resolved informally through a negotiated settlement between the plaintiff, defendant, insurers, and the attorneys for both sides. A settlement is a negotiation process that is accompanied by a written contract where both sides agree to forgo actions such as lawsuits. Both parties agree to settle the matter through the payment of a certain sum of money.
What Are the Elements of a Negligence Claim?
There are three main grounds for filing a personal injury lawsuit:
- A breach of duty of care: To pursue a lawsuit, the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant owed them a legal duty of care but that they breached it through their negligent action.
- Injury: The plaintiff must also show proof of injury- physical, emotional, or financial.
- The injuries were a direct cause of the defendant’s negligence.
When Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If this is the first time you are involved in a personal injury claim, it is important that you consider hiring an attorney to ensure you are fairly compensated. Insurance companies are notorious for fooling first time victims into early settlements which are usually lower than what they actually deserve.
Hiring legal counsel is also wise if you want to follow all the legal steps involved in filing a claim. For example, with the help of an attorney you will file your claim within the statute of limitations. This will ensure you do not miss your chance of getting justice against the defendant.
Finally, a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer trusts, will help you seek your rightful claim by building a strong case for you. Through gathering evidence and applying the appropriate case law, your lawyer can ensure you are fully compensated for medical costs, pain and suffering, and other damages.